NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Nacogdoches County man was arrested on Saturday for arson after he called authorities to tell them he was going to set a corpse on fire after killing someone in retaliation for another person’s death, said the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.

Jimmy Brandon Scroggins, 37, was charged with a second-degree felony for arson and the following misdemeanors: criminal trespass, resisting arrest, and evading arrest.

Deputies were sent to the 700 block of CR 4082 around 8:45 p.m. after 911 operators received a strange call from an unknown person about them intending to set a body on fire.

The caller hung up and when dispatchers tried to call them back, they would not answer.

Deputies later arrived to the scene and saw that a large part of the woods was on fire, so they called firefighters to assist. Authorities also used a drone from the sheriff’s office to find a man in the forest.

There was a residence in the woods and a family was inside. They were not aware of the fire, and Melrose Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were able to put out the flames near the home.

Deputies went into the burning forest, and they heard a person screaming incoherently. Officials used thermal cameras and the drone to look for the man, who appeared to be setting fires as authorities followed him.

Deputies located Scroggins and approached him. The man got up and acted aggressively towards them and did not listen to commands. Scroggins was pepper sprayed and did not follow officials’ directions. Deputies were later able to arrest him.

EMS checked on Scroggins, and his injuries were cleared before he was taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail. Deputies did not find a corpse, and they did not believe other crimes were committed. They are still investigating the incident.

The fire damaged about eight acres of land that belongs to a Lufkin-based forestry organization, and the
Texas Forest Service responded to help contain the fire.

Due to dry conditions, Nacogdoches County is currently under a burn ban enacted Friday, April 8, by county
commissioners.